Don’t call me a liar!

I’ve effectively just been called a liar by my insurance company and I don’t like it!

When our home insurance renewal arrived recently I was not well pleased to see a 20% increase. I was even more disgruntled to find a statement that the cover did not include using the home for business. We’ve insured with this company for 3-4 years and specifically moved to them because they covered my business use.

The renewal blurb promised ‘the reassurance that 95% of our customers rated the adviser they spoke to when they called to renew as ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ so I thought a quick ‘phone call would sort out the problem.

I started with the 20% increase and was told that it was right (they hadn’t shown how the no claims discount had been applied: more about that next time) and that I should consider myself lucky as some customers had had a 40% increase! Lucky? I don’t think so!

You can imagine how my attitude was changing by the time I broached the subject of the insurance for my business but I’m a reasonable person and know how to behave assertively so I ploughed on. I pointed out that the renewal quotation was now excluding my business and that I needed to be covered. ‘You haven’t got that cover now’ was the reply. Now I’m getting really concerned. I had checked last year’s paperwork so I pointed out that this was not excluded on that and that we had specifically transferred our insurance to them because they would cover my home based business, ‘we’ve changed the paperwork’ was the reply, ‘you weren’t covered last year’. I asked how I was supposed to know that which caused a consultation with the manager followed by ‘we’ve never covered business and you would have been told that when you renewed last year.’ So now I am a liar!

Needless to say I asked to speak to the manager and was told ‘she’s gone into a meeting and will be there all afternoon’. Oh what a surprise. If I told you which insurance company it was I’d be giving my age away but I won’t be renewing my insurance with them or booking a holiday with them either.

What can we learn from this experience?

  1. The first rule of customer service, establish empathy with your customer. An apology for the size of the increase together with some justification for it might have helped.
  2. Never. Ever. Call or imply that your customer is a liar. ‘I’m sorry there appears to have been a breakdown in communication here’ would have left me concerned rather than fuming.
  3. Allow a customer to speak to ‘a manager’, if one isn’t available take the customer’s number and make sure the manager calls back. Remember a happy customer rarely shares their experience whereas an unhappy one will tell at least five other people and a quarter will tell 20 or more people. This unhappy customer is blogging about the experience and, guess where my next case study is coming from! It’s not the 95% of customers who rate the experience as good or better that we should focus on but winning over the 5% of the unhappy customers, it’s a manager’s job to try to recover that situation.

I’m sure that your customer service is much better than this but The Training Pack runs short, practical courses and workshops to help you and your staff to make the most of your customer service. Email: to find out more.

If you’ve had a similar experience we’d love to hear about it, click the comment button now. Oh yes, we’ve managed to find another insurance company with double the house cover, cover for my business use and at half the price!

Poll still open.

The last two weeks’ blogs on the Dixons current advertising campaign have seen a dramatic increase in traffic. We’re leaving the poll open for another week so if you haven’t already voted this is your last chance to do so.


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